When we walked into Kilohana Clayworks, the potter in her apron froze, pointed at RJ and said, "Rosalina! Roslyn! I know you!"
I was impressed.
About four years ago, when I was expecting MP, Matt set me up with pottery classes as a birthday present. I spent a great eight weeks or so slinging mud, centering my soul in her spinning vortex that is existence, and trying not to ingest too much heavy metal in the form of glazes.
But I hadn't been back since. I called this morning to see if they had kid crafts today, but the phone went to a fax machine. So we just crossed our fingers and went.
To my utter astonishment, they had the kid crafts all beautifully set up and ready-- we spent a peaceful hour or so very carefully layering on glaze after glaze onto little greenware tiles. Aunty Lynn showed the girls how to make sure the colors never mixed, and how to squeeze every drop of water out of their brushes on a little sponge. The girls went into deep art focus mode. They were distracted only by the occasional appearance of one of the ten feral cats that call the studio home, and once by an enormous black dog with brown meaningful eyebrows and an earnest face.
The nice Potter sisters will fire the girls' creations this week, and mount them on little stained treasure boxes, for a shocking fee. But still. Mini vacation mode.
Then it was time for lunch. We were already in Lihue, and my bossy and irritating guidebook that I am using to respark my love affair with Kauai strongly recommended Hamura Saimin's noodles and shave ice.
It is one of my favorite spots, with homemade noodles, vats of real broth with animal bones melting down to a savory brew, and the most mouth-watering chili pepper water in the world-- but I never go because-- cash only, miniature stools, weird communal seating around hobbit-sized counters, sweltering kitchen air, and a sort of bafflement of-- who do we pay? How do we order? What is happening? Am I allowed to eat here?
I get perverse pleasure out of watching real live tourists (not just fake tourists like me) come in through the banging screen door, and stand around confused and ignored as the minutes stretch on and no one acknowledges them or takes their order... It's painful. You just have to charge in, sit down, shout out what you like and then wait patiently and catch up with your high school classmates who happen to be there at the same time as you. That's how you do.
Anyway, it was delicious, as always.
And we tried their shave ice for the first time, and it was perfectly acceptable rainbow shave ice, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom. But what can I say, my heart belongs to jojo's in Waimea.
The last stop was up to Wailua Falls--another place from the guidebook that I have just never had a reason to go see. So I went. I saw. The girls were very disturbed and kept saying, "we've never been on this road before!" MP was scared. That is how small this island. Is-- they didn't know it was possible to be on a road you don't recognize.
It was surreal for me too-- a vast unfamiliar plain stretched out in front of our familiar Mount Waialeale. And at the end of a long empty road, there was a constipated parking lot, with a seedy uncle hawking black pearls out of the bed of his truck. I parked up on the muddy grass between shiny tourist Fords and Chevys, and took the girls to peek over the wall.
Here is the view:
No joke. A 200 foot waterfall. A double rainbow. A giant churning chocolate-milk lake below.
It was hypnotic to watch the waterfalls. I was trying to imagine how I would draw them, but it was dizzying to track the shapes in the water. Arrows, daggers, smoke and then the crush at the bottom.
The girls complained that it was boring and that they wanted to hike down. But there is no trail-- just a slick bald patch behind a guardrail that leads straight down to certain death. So, sorry, kids. Veto.
There are lots of things that I'd do if there was some guarantee of survival. Scramble down a cliff face to dive into 30 feet of high pressure silt? Yes! Just somebody show me the piece of paper that says I die peacefully in my bed at a ripe old age, and I'll get right on all that death defying excitement.
Long story short, no sliding down the mountain.